People in Vancouver love making working out fun and finding creative, feel-good ways to get a sweat in, like dance workout classes.
On the other hand, mindful movement isn't uncommon either and those looking for a trauma-informed and inclusive approach to working out have several studios to choose from.
Now the city's first Black-owned Pilates studio has opened its doors.
The Well by Kunye is a new mindfulness and movement space and celebrated its official opening on August 18 at the new studio (1579 Georgia St.). The studio was approximately a year in the making, from planning to opening.
"I am proud to be a black-owned mindfulness movement-based studio in the city. I think that brings with it a unique perspective and approach to wellness that is inherently more inclusive and dynamic," says founder Melissa Nkomo in an email to Vancouver Is Awesome.
"Everything we do at The Well is rooted in mindfulness," Nkomo writes. "Essentially that means being present in your body, in your practice and in the moment. The intention is to meet yourself where you are and practice the skills we need both in our movement practice and in our lives. We use inclusive language, music, and breath to ground the senses and encourage you to remain present throughout your practice."
"In addition to that, our classes are intentionally small and intimate so each guest gets focused attention. We are also located on one of the busiest corners in the city. We are using our location as a tool to help cultivate practices that can help our guests self regulate without needing to check out of life completely," she adds.
The Well offers various classes for different movement needs. There's something for every body, whether it's strength, flexibility, conditioning or self exploration.
"Our approach is contemporary and informed by various movement modalities, primarily Pilates," explains Nkomo. "There is truly a class for all bodies, and all shapes, sizes, genders, and abilities are welcome."
Since its grand opening, Nkomo expects much more to come from the studio, including "more events, workshops and a new class schedule launching in September," she writes.
Nkomo says that she's "humbled and grateful," for getting her groundbreaking business up and running.
"I can't help but feel that this is for all my ancestors - past, present and future," she says.